Friday, July 18, 2008

Filipino Fun

I've found something funnier/cheesier than Mexican soap operas. I don't think you can beat Asian ones. One channel appears to be the all samurai soap opera channel. They are hilarious. From the first second you're on the channel you can tell. The sumo wrestling is pretty entertaining, too.

I don't know that our opposite schedules are going to work out real well here. Tonight I'm awake and Kurt's only half way through his shift. It's too late at night for me to go out. Plus I'm hungry. I bought some pudding packs and pretzel's at the grocery. Maybe I'll have some of those. The restaurant here closes at 11 pm so I've missed that by 2 hours.

Kurt won't have to work again until Monday night here. We're going to try and go to Corregidor on Sunday (I think). I don't know how long we are going out with the work people this morning. Maybe we'll go to Intramuros which is the old city. Most of it was bombed into oblivion during WWII.

The Manila American Military Cemetery opens at 6:30 am so that's something we can do one morning when Kurt gets off from work before he goes to sleep.

We want to try and go to Borcay to the beach next weekend. We'd have to fly there. I've seen 2 night pkg for $300, but with his schedule we can really only go for 1 night. If I had scheduled my flight home a day later it would have worked out better. I hate it when I don't plan things out correctly.

Saturday morning I walked down to the center and waited for Kurt to get off work. A lady named Alice asked where I was going. When I said "here" we got into a big conversation about where I was from, why I was there, what the company does, and what are the qualifications to work there. Then I had another person stop and ask me how much they pay. The Filipinos are very friendly.

I had a yummy breakfast, but I'm not so sure Kurt was as thrilled with his. I had a giant pile of bacon, a fried egg, and some sweet/sesame rolls. Kurt got the Fisherman's Platter. It had 5 or 6 grilled sardines (heads and tails included, of course), garlic rice, and a thing of chopped tomatoes and hard boiled eggs. Well, I think they were hard boiled. The yolk was very dark, like brownish. I wouldn't have eaten it.

After breakfast we walked through the Farmer's market so Kurt could see it. It was teaming with people getting there food for the day. This was around 745 am. I should have taken more pictures. There were guys with cleavers just whacking the hell out of giant pieces of meat. Kurt looked a little queasy. The smell is something else.

We grabbed a cab to the Manila old town, Intramuros. Manila is really a city of contrasts there is abject poverty and raw sewage in the river, but then there might be a multimillion dollar hi-rise going up. Of course it's being built by hand. We saw two guys breaking up concrete. One had a hammer hitting the piece of rebar the other one was holding with a pliers.

Intramuros is the old walled city from the time of the Spanish in the 1500's. It was heavily bombed during the Battle of Manila. Many things have been rebuilt such as the Manila Cathedral. As soon as we got out of the taxi we were besieged by beggars, people selling rosaries, hats, and everything else. We took a ride on a calesa which is a horse drawn cart. I felt really bad for the horse hauling our fat asses around in this heat. The driver gave us a tour and I translated (what i could hear and understand) for Kurt. We both nodded a lot.

We also toured the St Augustin church. It is filled with ecclesiastical relics and art. it was fascinating. There were beautiful statues/figurines of the various virgins and saints. They were carved out of ivory with incredible detail. Often they had human hair and eye lashes. There were also large carved altars that had been saved. The site is a UNESCO world heritage list. I can't imagine how those relics are surviving in the humidity. In Sala de la Capitulacion (where the Governor-General signed the terms of surrender to the US in 1898) there were beautiful objects of gold and silver decorated with semi precious stones. There were two pieces which are the thing that the Host goes in for the perpetual adoration that were gold with aquamarine, amethyst, emerald and diamonds. They were spectacular.

Kurt and I were dying of the heat and humidity so we skipped the second floor. On the way out we were able to stop in the main church. It was being prepared for a wedding. The sanctuary was gorgeous with huge chandeliers of crystal, blue stones, and pearls. The ceiling and walls were all frescoed. Some of it was carved, but the majority of it was trompe l'oeil painted to look like carvings. Unfortunately photography wasn't allowed and I was too hot to sneak one sans flash.

We sucked down some cokes from a roadside stand, fought off some more beggars, and got a cab back to the hotel.

We had a delicious lunch in front of the heavy duty air conditioning unit in the LAB restaurant at the hotel. Kurt had pad thai while I had cream dory fillets in oyster sauce with stir fried bok choy and basil crisps. It was one awesome fish! It's was very firm and creamy. It tasted lemony. I am happy to report that I even was a bit chilly at lunch! Thank you, Jesus!

Tonite at 7 we are going out with a group of 30 or so from work. We going to a market where we pick out our raw meat and then other things to go with it - it's dambass (sp) style. After dinner we're going to a video karaoke bar that has been reserved for us. should be interesting!

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